Luscombe Legal Battles Getting Settled

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A six-year battle over the future of a 60-year-old aircraft design should be on its way to settlement. As AVweb previously reported, Renaissance Aircraft, of Cape Girardeau, Mo. has been locked in a bitter dispute with the Arizona-based Don Luscombe Aviation History Museum and its former president, Doug Combs over the type certificate for the venerable Luscombe 8F. On Thursday, an Arizona bankruptcy court was to decide whether a deal between Renaissance and the bankrupt Luscombe group would settle the differences and allow Renaissance to get on with producing a modern, souped-up version of the aircraft that some credit with bringing affordable aviation to the masses in the 1940s. "We're going to be all part of the same family, all working together," predicted Renaissance President John Deardon. "It's been a big waste of time and a big waste of money." Deardon didn't want to discuss the legal issues but he was happy to talk about the airplane, which he said is a fun way to fly despite its 60-year-old pedigree. Luscombes originally came with 50 hp engines--the new one has up to 180. That makes it climb up to 2,000 fpm and tear along at more than 130 knots. With the legal entanglements cleared, it should be easier for the company to attract the capital it needs to get into production. Renaissance has a $2.7 million judgement against Combs and Deardon said he intends to collect what he can. Stay tuned....